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The parents of critically ill baby Charlie Gard have accused Great Ormond Street Hospital of “denying us our final wish” as doctors prepare to move their son to a hospice to die.
In a statement released on Thursday, Connie Yates and Chris Gard said they “just want some peace with our son”.
“No hospital, no lawyers, no courts, no media, just quality time with Charlie away from everything to say goodbye to him in the most loving way,” they added.
It comes after the hospital released an emotionally-charged statement on Thursday, promising doctors will make Charlie’s last moments as comfortable and peaceful as possible.
The 11-month-old, who has a rare genetic disorder and brain damage, is set to be transferred to a specialist children’s hospice.
Initially parents Ms Yates and Mr Gard had wanted to take their son home to die, but doctors said it was not practical to move the life support machine.
The parents then conceded and accepted hospice care for their son, but were unable to agree with doctors over his final end-of-life care, including how long they could spend with him.
The judge in the case, Mr Justice Francis, set a deadline of noon today for the parents to reach an agreement with medics but both parties failed to do so.
Mr Justice Francis then confirmed Charlie would be taken to a hospice where life support would be withdrawn.
In their emotional statement on Thursday night, the heartbroken Ms Yates and Mr Gard said: “Most people won’t ever have to go through what we have been through, we’ve had no control over our son’s life and no control over our son’s death.
“We were pleased this morning (well as happy as you can be at a time like this).
“Two doctors came forward to offer their help to grant Chris and I our final wish which was to spend a few days to make precious memories with our beloved son away from the hospital environment.”
The statement continued: “These doctors were willing to share the care and to be on site 24/7.
“We also had a team of intensive care nurses who would be by Charlie’s bedside 24/7 on rotation. Additionally we have been offered the use of a two-bedroom flat which is fully equipped with all the required equipment.
“Charlie does not require this level of care currently so he would be better cared for.
“Despite us and our legal team working tirelessly to arrange this near impossible task, the judge has ordered against what we arranged and has agreed to what GOSH asked.
“This subsequently gives us very little time with our son. I’m not allowed to disclose the time or place but I’m shocked that after all we’ve been through they won’t allow us this extra time.
“Seeing as they didn’t allow us our wish, we then asked for extra time here but this has also been denied.”
A Great Ormond Street Hospital spokesperson said on Thursday they “deeply regret that profound and heartfelt differences between Charlie’s doctors and his parents have had to be played out in court over such a protracted period”.
“It has been a uniquely painful and distressing process for all concerned,” their statement read.
“Charlie’s parents have tirelessly advocated for what they sincerely believed was right for their son, and nobody could fault them for doing so.
“All of us at Great Ormond Street Hospital get up every morning to care for sick children, not to cause further anguish to devoted parents like Chris and Connie.
“We have tried absolutely everything to accommodate their final wishes and engaged not only with those who volunteered to treat Charlie but experts from across the health service in close consultation with the NHS to make this happen.
“This included exploring the unprecedented step of delivering intensive life support away from a hospital intensive care unit.
“Sadly, as the judge has now ruled, there is simply no way that Charlie, a patient with such severe and complex needs, can spend any significant time outside of an intensive care environment safely.
“The risk of an unplanned and chaotic end to Charlie’s life is an unthinkable outcome for all concerned and would rob his parents of precious last moments with him.”
Charlie is now set to be transferred to a specialist children’s hospice, where “remarkable and compassionate staff” will support his family.
The hospital added: “Every single one of us wishes there could have been a less tragic outcome.
“Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to Chris and Connie, and we hope that their privacy is respected at this devastating time for their family.”
Mr Gard and Ms Yates, who are in their 30s and come from Bedfont, west London, had asked Mr Justice Francis to rule that Charlie should be allowed to undergo a therapy trial in New York.
Doctors at Great Ormond Street said the therapy would not help. They said life-support treatment should stop.
Mr Justice Francis in April ruled in favour of Great Ormond Street and said Charlie should be allowed to die with dignity.
Charlie’s parents subsequently failed to overturn his ruling in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in London.
They also failed to persuade European Court of Human Rights’ judges to intervene.
But the couple had recently returned to court, saying they had new evidence, and asked Mr Justice Francis to change his mind.
They abandoned their legal fight on Monday after concluding that Charlie had deteriorated to the “point of no return”.
London News & Search